Abraham Storck - Ships and Boats at Harbour
Ships and Boats at Harbour
Oil on panel. 49 x 65 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: A. Storck/Fecit Ao 1699.
In his biography of Netherlandish artists, Arnold Houbraken describes Abraham Storck as a painter of “rough and calm seas, ships, busy harbours, boats, and other vessels filled with soldiers and sailors, chests, and other goods”. Storck's maritime works are varied in their content, depicting naval battles, maritime festivals, or whale hunting, but the artist was most well-known for his atmospheric depictions of ships on calm seas.
This work, dated 1699, depicts a coastline at twilight with numerous sailing craft and goods being brought on land. On the pier we see a group of fishermen bringing in their catch, which has already attracted the attention of an elegantly dressed couple. In the background, a magnificent two-master draws the viewer's gaze into the distance. Storck cleverly arranges the sailing boats and ships within the composition to create the impression of a busy harbour whilst simultaneously capturing the calm evening mood of the sea.
North German private collection.